In light of Russia’s “military operation” in Ukraine, NATO has announced the deployment of “more defensive land and air troops” to the eastern region of the bloc, as well as an increase in the readiness of all its forces “to respond to any situations”.
“Russia’s actions are a major danger to Euro-Atlantic security, with geostrategic implications. All essential actions will be taken by NATO to maintain the security and defence of all allies,” a statement from NATO said on February 24.
Following emergency consultations, the bloc decided “to take additional steps” to strengthen its “deterrence and defence”.
“Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory,” NATO said, as per news reports.
The alliance called Russia’s military action “a horrifying attack on Ukraine, which is entirely unjustified and unprovoked” and called upon Moscow to “immediately cease” the action.
“Russia will pay a very heavy economic and political price. NATO will continue to coordinate closely with relevant stakeholders and other international organisations including the EU,” the statement reads.
NATO claims that it has “made every effort to pursue diplomacy and dialogue with Russia” and has “repeatedly invited” it for talks in the NATO-Russia Council, RT reported.
“Russia has still not reciprocated. It is Russia, and Russia alone, which has chosen escalation,” it said.
Russia launched its “special operation” in Ukraine on February 24 morning. As President Putin said, the operation is aimed at stopping the Ukrainian army’s attacks on the two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, now recognized by Moscow as sovereign states.
In Putin’s opinion, NATO used Ukraine as a proxy, which could threaten Russia militarily. He underlined that his government had to act immediately to demilitarize its neighbouring country and to ensure that no attack against Russia occurs in the future on NATO’s terms.
(With inputs from agencies)